You would be forgiven for thinking it is Slenderman fever. As the press jump on the continuing bandwagon of printing any sensationalist paranormal story, this time it is The Mirror. Who state there has been a number of sightings across Cannock Chase, in Staffordshire…a place that will instantly jump out at you from last years Black Eyed Kids stories (more on that in just a moment.)
In this Mirror piece, we are presented with this sentence which instantly does not sit comfortably.
‘Slender men have been a part of global folklore for centuries.’
So we have instantly gone from ‘Slenderman’ to ‘Slendermen.
Odd that of the few reports on the internet, a plural has not been used until now. A typo? or a way to bring this more into the public concious and of course sell more papers?
We really have to start making distinction between fact and fiction.
Where did Slenderman originate?
Answer is surprisingly simple; a 2009 ‘create a paranormal picture’ photoshop meme competition on web forum of site ‘Something Awful’ is the origins of the tall slim faceless figure. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/slender-man.
Eric Knudsen submitted his 2 entries portraying Slenderman. I recall the viral sharing of the photoshop image of Slenderman in the background of a kid slide photo.
The popularity of this meme grew; as many users inspired, created multiple fan images and further photoshop photos. Fan stories developed and circulated building on the established mythos on the paranormal story website Creepy Pasta . The photoshopped images and stories leeched out from the original forums into the wider internet and people started taking them for ‘real’ images and its move into pop culture began.
Interview with Slenderman creator Eric Knudsen https://slenderman235.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/interview-with-victor-surge-creator-of-slender-man/
Not to long ago, I reviewed the PC videogame Slender: The Arrival for ItsMuchMore. A re-envison and a expansion of an earlier title Slender: The Eight Pages. Genuinely atmospheric and creepy game which has you in a Blair-Witch like position struggling to hold ones sanity. http://www.itsmuchmore.com/review/slender-the-arrival
What is the Slenderman?
The back story is that Slender Man is a mythical creature depicted as a tall, thin figure wearing a black suit and with a blank face.
According to the lore, Slenderman can stretch or shorten his arms at will and has tentacle-like appendages on his back. Slender Man causes memory loss, insomnia, paranoia, coughing fits (nicknamed “slendersickness”), photographic and video distortions and can teleport at will.
Slenderman leaked more into the public concious with the story in Wisconsin. Where 2, 12 year girls stabbed a fellow classmate – one of the accused alleges she has a ‘telepathic connection’ to Slenderman.
According to court documents, the girls plotted for months to kill their friend to curry favor with Slender Man, a character in horror stories they read online. They told investigators they believed Slender Man had a mansion in a Wisconsin forest and they planned to go live with him after the slaying.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/wisconsin-girl-in-slender-man-stabbing-incompetent-for-trial-2014-8#ixzz3Q7GXjHWR
They also speak to Unicorns, Voldemort and Ninja Turtles.
In the article in the Mirror they cite other folklore and attribute Slenderman as being one and the same, a merging of you will into legend. Very dangerous, despite its history being so clear cut.
“In Scotland the fiendish figure is known as Fear Dubh (The Dark Man), the Dutch dubbed him Takkenmann (Branch Man) and in Germany he is referred to as Der Grosse Man (Tall Man).”
I am genuinely surprised the journalist wasn’t slapped silly by the editor for not doing any actual research into Slenderman pop-culture. Which has taken me half an hour.
OK this is where we find the guy named Lee Brickley – a paranormal investigator whose name one should recognize as a connection to the story craze of Black Eyed Kids stories of Cannock Chase, last year also ran by the Mirror. Lee Brickley is the source of the material of Slenderman being citied in Cannock Chase.
A curious pattern emerges there is no none Lee Brickley stories of Slenderman or the BEK.
Same place – same investigator – same paper – spinning stories? Maybe…
Lee supplied a number of reports of sightings to the Huffington Post UK which are described on the news page below. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/01/26/slender-man-haunting-british-beauty-spot-cannock-chase_n_6545294.html
Benefiting from a conversation with ASSAP (Association of the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena). Conversation began by Nicky Sewell, with ASSAP Chair-person Sarah Spellman and others talking about this story, brought in to the conversation was Steve Potter of the University of Birmingham.
‘I’ve been investigating Cannock chase for over twenty years, and until last year I’d never heard or come across any black eyed children reports let alone Slender man.’
With Brickley, is there perhaps an underlying reason or motive to promote this stuff? Source of such random stories is solely through him, so is he doing it bring notoriety, a bit of fame, generate money? Well he has a book out. Could sell more books, of course? They say to follow the money. Wonder if Lee has read the lore and origins of Slenderman?
Don’t wish Lee Brickley ill feelings or bad wording upon someone I do not know or have not spoken to, to listen to his side. Only it seems a slight convenient.